A selection of zips.

Why I’m proud to share ways to make clothes

Guest blogger Angela Foster explains the importance of sewing in her life, and why she wants to pass on her skills.

I have always sewn: in fact that was all I did when I was a child, having very few toys. My grandmothers taught me sewing, knitting and crochet. By the time I was eight years old I was wearing my very first home-made outfit to school.

Six years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and my lifestyle had to change – for the better I might add. I was suddenly not working and I had to find something to occupy my time. I started my sewing blog a year ago after much thought because I knew how much time it would take. However I was not prepared for how successful it was going to be – that bit has totally taken me by surprise.

I feel that it is important for people who have a skill or a talent to share it with others or our traditional crafts will die out. I have nobody to share my knowledge with at home, so I use my blog as a channel to teach others to sew.

In this age of austerity and pollution we could all be doing our bit, and one way of doing that is to sew your own clothes. I have not bought any clothes for over a year now, and my partner has over a dozen shirts I made for him. And do you know what? I like my own clothes far better than anything I see in the shops, so much so that I doubt I will ever buy anything ready to wear again. Now if that is not a testimony for sewing I do not know what is.

Being thrifty with your clothes can be fun, ethical and save you a fortune. Taking it one step further and making yourself a new outfit also gives pride and satisfaction. When somebody says "I like your dress, where did you get it?" you can then proudly say: "I made it myself."

Angela blogs at Sew Angelic Threads, where she provides hints and tips to help you produce a beautiful garment even if you have never sewn before.

Angela Foster